Accurate and sensitive determination of sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, and avanafil in illicit erectile dysfunction medications and human urine by LC with quadrupole-TOF-MS/MS and their behaviors in simulated gastric conditions

Öztürk Er E., Özbek B., Bakırdere S.

JOURNAL OF SEPARATION SCIENCE, vol.42, pp.475-483, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/jssc.201800734
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.475-483
  • Keywords: erectile dysfunction, gastric conditions, human urine, illicit erectile medication, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, DIETARY-SUPPLEMENTS, PHOSPHODIESTERASE-5 INHIBITORS, LIQUID-CHROMATOGRAPHY, ANALOGS, SAFETY, DRUGS, PRODUCTS, EFFICACY, WATER
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The widespread use of phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors has attracted broad attention of counterfeiters to develop illicit erectile products with inaccurate amounts, unknown toxicity, and purity of active ingredients. Correspondingly, intake of these products endangers consumer health and needs to be screened for precautionary actions to reduce this risk. Therefore, in this study, a sensitive and rapid analytical method has been developed for simultaneous determination of selected phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors present in illicit erectile medications and human urine. Quantification of the analytes was performed by liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole-time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry system. The chromatographic separation was successfully achieved with a run period of 8 min. Low detection limits were obtained in the range of 1.63-9.81 ng/g with relative standard deviations below 7.72% obtained using the replicate measurements of lowest concentration in calibration plots. The analytical performance of the proposed method proved good linearity, low detection limits, good accuracy and precision with high percent recoveries for human urine samples. Developed method was successfully applied to real samples including four different brands of illicit erectile medications. The results obtained revealed the presence of high levels of sildenafil in analyzed samples. The behaviors of selected phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors were also studied in simulated gastric conditions.